Mercedes technical director Paddy Lowe believes that the upcoming Monaco Grand Prix will be contested between themselves, Ferrari and Red Bull.
Hoping for an improvement from their disastrous Barcelona outing, Lowe explained that Circuit de Monaco is an interesting track as it doesn’t necessarily demand power and pace from a car.
And although Mercedes remain the favourites, Lowe admits Ferrari and Red Bull could get involved.
“It’s set to be an intense battle between ourselves, Ferrari and Red Bull, so we’ll need a perfect weekend to come out on top,” he said.
“Monaco is a unique circuit requiring unique characteristics from the car, so you can never approach this race with absolute confidence in the performance of your package.
“That confidence is something which may only grow through the weekend, as the team fine-tunes the car and the drivers dial themselves in to the track.
“Of all the circuits on the calendar, this is the one where practice is most crucial. If the drivers are to get that ultimate qualifying lap, which is so important given the difficulty in overtaking around Monaco, they need all the track time they can get to find their rhythm.”
The 54-year-old is also wary of the ultra soft compound 2016 debut, feeling that this weekend’s practice sessions will be the most important ones of this season and you can bet out the outcome of the Monaco GP with Paddy Power.
“This weekend sees the first appearance of the Ultra Soft tyre – which will be particularly interesting given that even the Super Soft has arguably been too hard for this circuit in recent years,” Lowe added.
“We’re looking forward to seeing what kind of lap time improvement that might bring – and perhaps even a new lap record.”